Tag Archive | Black Card

Royal Pains TV Pilot – Black Cards in the Hamptons

I was out in the Hamptons this past weekend and saw the van for Royal Pains out and about. If you haven’t seen it already USA has a new series that starts this Thursday at 10PM EST titled Royal Pains. Royal Pains is about a doctor “Hank Lawson” (played by Marc Feuerstein) who was fired from his position and against his judgment becomes a “concierge doctor” for the rich.

In the show pilot, the writers wasted no time on black card references, the son of the heir to family that invented the blender (Tucker Bryant) wrecks his Dad’s Ferrari and is injured. After some emergency care, Tucker needs transport to a hospital, “[Tucker Bryant] The Hamptons heritage no way man, Dad calls it the local cemetery. [Hank Lawson] What would your Dad suggest we do? [Tucker Bryant] Go into my wallet and get the little black card that says American Express on it.” Tucker is then taken by helicopter to Mount Sinai in Manhattan. You can watch the full pilot for Royal Pains on Hulu

Royal Pains Emergency Tucker Bryant Black Card

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American Express Black Card (Centurion Card) Unboxing Video

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UK Travelodge Guest Leaves Behind His Black Card

American Express Centurion CardA recent Travelodge report from 2008 have suggested that UK Hotel Guests has been leaving behind some, strange but luxurious items: A horse, a Diamond Rolex watch, a set of World War II medals, a Wedding Dress, and an AMEX Black Card.

Topping the UK wide Travelodge list was a Centurion Card, also known as the American Express Black Card, which is the most exclusive credit card in the world with an annual fee of £1,800. The rich owner of the card stayed in the Heathrow Central Travelodge and jetted off without it.

And it wasn’t the only symbol of wealth that was misplaced in the budget chain, the well off also left behind keys to a Porche 911, a set of Maruman golf clubs and a diamond Rolex watch.

Full article here

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Graphite Platinum AMEX Implies “Switch and Bait” by Visa

Artist Adam McEwen recently created two sculptures for his exhibit “Switch and Bait” in New York, both sculptures were made from “machined graphite.” Graphite, like its allotrope diamond, is a form of carbon. One of his two exhibits is an American Express Platinum Card created from Graphite. Art is in the eye of the beholder, but to us it seems that he is implying that the Visa Black Card is pulling a “Switch and Bait” and ripping off American Express Platinum Card (which the Visa Black Card more accurately compares to).

adammcewenswitchandbait1_amex_platinum_graphiteIf you’re in NY, exhibit is held @

Switch and Bait
Through 18 April 2009
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery
520 West 20th Street
Chelsea, New York City map
tel. +1 212 243 3335

Posted in Alternate Cards, General0 Comments

KanYe Wests American Express Cards are Black and Red

Kayne West Good Life African American Express Red AMEXKanye West for some time now has been pushing a new term for the “Black Card.” On his “College Dropout” album Kanye raps in “Last Call:

I went to the malls and I balled too hard
‘Oh my god, is that a black card?’
I turned around and replied, why yes but I prefer the term
“African American Express”

In his “Good Life” music video pictured left, Kanye shows his “African American Express” Red Card. The American Express Red is an American Express Card offered by American Express UK as part of the RED initiative that was started by Bono (U2)  and Bobby Shriver (DATA) to raise money for the Global Fund. Money spent on the card helps the global fund by sending 1% of purchases to the RED Global Fund.

The Global Fund (first created in 2002) is setup to help fight AIDS, TB (Tuberculosis), and Malaria. The rich can help even more with the Red Card, as when annual spend passes £5000 the fund percentage is increased to 1.25%.

Kanye isn’t the only rapper to help the RED initiative, Timbaland feat Keri Hilson on his second album “Timbaland Presents Shock Value.Timbaland raps in “The Way I Are:”

“I ain’t got no Visa
I ain’t got no Red American Express

We can’t go nowhere exotic
It don’t matter ’cause I’m the one that love you best
Talk to me girl”

Unfortunately unless you’re in the UK, you’ll have to stick with the Black Card for now.

American Express Centurion CardAmerican Express (AMEX) RED UK

Posted in Kanye West2 Comments

Centurion Card Launched in Canada

Centurion Card CanadaIn December 2008, American Express sent out invitations for the Centurion Card in Canada. The invitation eligible, includes about approximately 274,000 consumers, or 2.7% of the population. In Canada the qualifiers are a bit different than in the US, and requires that eligible candidates have

at least $1 million in financial assets, excluding collectibles, homes, cars, and general consumer goods. That is, you need to have $1 million in liquid assets, or cash.

Despite economic turmoil, Trevor Van Nest, VP of Consumer Card Marketing @ American Express Canada says “We had sweaty palms, but the response has exceeded expectations,” and that although “There has been a slight dip in spending, but the absolute dollars are still higher than any other market,” and their targeted cardholders spend “several hundred thousand dollars a year [on their credit cards].”

The Canadian Centurion Card, or Black Card, similar to the US, is made from titanium, requires a one-time initiation fee, annual membership fee of $2,500. The benefits on the card itself, for the most part match that of the US Centurion Card, although severely lack when it comes to US travel benefits which include elite status on multiple arlines (Continental, Delta, US AIR, Virgin Atlantic). VIP Shopping priviledges (personal assistant, after hours shopping, free gift wrapping and alterations). at retailers including: Harry Rosen, Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The American Centurion Card in Canada now competes with the Visa Infinite Black Card launched by RBC and CIBC in March 2008, which includes typical luxury credit card benefits, has an annual fee of $120, and requires cardholers have a minimum household income of $100,000 CAD.

Posted in Centurion Card Canada6 Comments

Chinese Artst Makes Sculptures Using Black Card

Mao Zedong, standing on a box of Dom Perignon, with the American Express Black Card/Centurion Card in his hand. As a strong status symbol in popular culture it is not surprising that the Black Card is emerging in Art work.

black_card_chinese_artist_americandream

“Getting Rich is Glorious”
Deng Xiaoping

About the Artist:  R. Lloyd Ming
R. Lloyd Ming uses photography, video art, installation and sculpture to ask hard questions about society. He is inspired by artists who use found or readymade objects to create their work and Ming typically also works in this way. Notable influences are Marcel Duchamp, Subodh Gupta, Ai Weiwei, Fred Wilson, Haim Steinbeck, Joseph Cornell, Louise Nevelson and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Ming is particularly influenced by the work of American artist Robert Rauschenberg. Throughout his career Rauschenberg used objects he found on the street to make sculptures he called combines.

http://www.RLloydMing.com

Posted in Centurion Card, General4 Comments

Maserati Quattroporte Centurion Edition (for Black Card Members)

A new partnership between American Express Centurion and Maserati has resulted in the creation of the Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion, Special Series. First unveiled at Forbes House (Belgravia, London) for an exclusive audience of American Express Black Card (Centurion Card holders), the Pininfarina designed luxury saloon was received with excitement.

Black Card Centurion Maserati

“The Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion special series is exclusively built to order: finished in stunning metallic Nero Carbonio (carbon black), it features a sumptuous Bianco Polare (polar white) Poltrona Frau® leather interior with embossed Centurion logo on the headrests, a bespoke numbered plaque, titanium coloured trim and 20” ball polished rims. The Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion 4.2 is powered by an impressive 400HP 4.2 litre V8 engine, powering the car to a top speed of 167 mph and allowing it to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.6 seconds. The fully automatic ZF gearbox ensures a smooth and responsive ride in all conditions.” If that’s not fast enough for you, the Centurion Edition Maserati is also available in a 4.7 litre edition, with 430HP engine that can reach 174mph top speed, and go from 0 to 62 mpg in 5.4 seconds.

Unique Serial # Plate Identification

Black Card Maserati Centurion Edition Plate

Centurion Logo Embossed Headrest

Black Card Maserati Quattroporte Centurion Embossed Headrest

Prices will start from £88,315 (approx $125k USD) for the Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion 4.2 and £94,185 (approx 133k USD) for the Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion 4.7.

Posted in Cars0 Comments

Visa Infinite Black Card launched in Africa by Access Bank

The Visa Infinite Black Card has just been announced by Access Bank of Nigeria as Africa’s “most prestigious credit card”. Similar to other cards carrying the “Black Card” name, targeted at “For discerning clients who desire unlimited spending power, convenience and privileges with a single prestigious solution.”

Advertised benefits to this invitation only “Limited Membership, Infinite Privileges” card include:

  • A concierge service to manage cardholder travel, hotel reservations, currency exchange, transportation, special vacation packages, etc
  • Travel insurance coverage, including: medical treatment, evacuation, emergency medical, including emergency medical treatment, and of course loss of luggage
  • Priority Pass Membership
  • Minimum $30,000 credit limit
  • Specific 24/7 call centre service
  • Ticket Exchange
  • Emergency card replacement and cash advances
  • Collision damage waiver
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • 29% Interest rate

Visa Infinite Black Card Access Bank Africa

Posted in Visa Black Infinite - Accessbank1 Comment

The Black Card Era: Visa, AMEX, and many more

Rapper Clipse tells us, we are in indeed in the Black Card Era. The “black card“, urban legend turned reality in 1999 may finally be exhausting it’s life as everyone in the world can now have a black card. As NBA stars like DeShaw Stevenson would remind you, as would Visa, the Black Card “is not for everyone“, as would WIZKID Productions “Black Affair” for Mid-night Ballers.

DeShawn Stevenson Black CardWizkid Black Card

But that hasn’t stopped everyone from capitalizing on the “Black Card“, for example, if you want to go to a club that caters to the”Black Card” crowd, and is VIP only (Arizona’s Black Card Ultralounge pictured below, has now closed)

black_card_ultralounge

The Black Card PartyBlack Card Thursdays At FR.OG

There is of course a social club that has established itself as the “Black Card Circle“:

Black Card Circle is the Premier Communication Platform and Relationship Building Organization for Influential Individuals Worldwide.

Black Card Circle Logo

Or if you want to listen to some tracks from the Ali Vegas released a mixtape titled “Black Card Council – Unlimited Street Credit.” that are cater to the sophistication that “Black Card” members so often discern, you can.

Black Card Council

There is the “NatWest Black Card” which is prestigious in the UK, and requires you are over 25 with £75,000 or greater (sorry Harrison Gervitz).

natwest_black

Andy Warhol said in 1968 that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”

…and the black card brings people that bit of fame. For now, you’ll have to stick to one of the above, or you can get the latest new comer to the black card market, the “Visa Black Card“.

Visa Black Card

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The Virgin Atlantic Black Card

It seems Virgin Atlantic now has a Black Card, we are all going to have Black Card overload pretty soon.
Virgin Atlantic Black Card

…EXPLAINED IN BLACK AND WHITE

The Virgin Atlantic Black Card is the fastest card to earn Flying Club miles, end of story. You’ll fly faster with:

* 2 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on card purchases
* 4 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent direct with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays
* 6,000 bonus Flying Club miles upon first spend within first 90 daysFootnote 1
* 10% off Virgin Holidays packagesFootnote 2
* 0% on balance transfers for 6 months from the date your account is opened. 2% handling fee applies
* 18.9% (variable) on card purchases, that’s a typical rate of 37.1% APR (variable) including the £115 annual fee, see the Summary box for full details

Posted in Virgin Atlantic Black Card0 Comments

According to Urban Dictionary’s BRP 10/3/2005

The Black Card is (according to the Urban Dictionary):

A highly regarded, exclusive American Express Card issued by “invitation only” to current AmEx holders with high incomes and A+ credit. This card entitles its holders to VIP access, upgraded flights, event tickets, and special treatment at department stores and such. A $2500 fee is payed by each of its card holders annually. Also known as a “Centurion” card.
“I’m sorry Sir, tickets are sold out”
::man pulls out black card::
“I’m sorry Sir, how does front row and backstage access sound?”

I’m under 21 with a Black Card” -Bow Wow

Did we think anything otherwise?

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FYI: AMEX does not own the “Black Card” trademark, Visa does.

Umm, Oooops!

Originally rumor and urban myth, the American Express CENTURION CARD came to be in 1999 (see the original AMEX press release). “There had been rumors going around that we had this ultra-exclusive black card for elite customers,” says Doug Smith, director of American Express Europe. “It wasn’t true, but we decided to capitalize on the idea anyway. So far we’ve had a customer buy a Bentley and another charter a jet.”

So, although the urban myth and legend referred to the card as the “Black Card” American Express decided to call it the “Centurion Card” named after their private bank, and trademark that instead; The challenge for AMEX is now, however, that they left themselves open by not also trademarking the term Black Card, despite the fact that the American Express Centurion Card is ubiquitously known in popular culture as the “Black Card” or Black AMEX, and less so the “Centurion Card”.

Visa readily tells those applying for the card that the “Black Card is not for everyone”, apparently, they mean American Express as well. You can check out patents filed for “Black Card”  and “Centurion Card” on the United States Patent Office Site.

visa_black_card_vs_amex_centurion_card_front

It doesn’t matter legally, that the cards don’t really compare in terms of exclusivity or benefits because Black Card, LLC, Barclays and Visa currently do own the trademark “Black Card”. Maybe we will see a new Black Card for Dummies Guide targeted at the Visa’s Black Card instead?

Posted in Visa Black Card0 Comments

Visa Black Card Demographics – Is the Card all Marketing Hype?

For Visa Black Card, it may all be hype and marketing science (as it can now be seen in ads in Robb Report, Snow Magazine, etc), but some sample stats we’ve collected so far it appears Barclay’s is at least successful in attracting the higher end customers (although, time will tell as this card itself may not be all that exclusive, as it’s allegedly only a “Visa Platinum Plus” which is below the Visa line of Signature Cards: ). All the charm of luxury may come in the from of the British accent featured in Barclay’s TV Commercials .

Here’s some of the data we have seen of that exclusive “1%” cardholder profile:

  • 31 year old male, income approx $175,000 3 credit scores average 765, approved for Visa Black Card with 25,000 limit, alternate cards: Chase Freedom Visa Signature Limit = $50,000.
  • 28 year old male, income approx $300,000 3 credit score average 740, approved for Visa Black Card with 20,000 limit, alternate cards: American Express Centurion Card.
  • “Schiffy”income approx $10,000, credit score average 598, approved for Visa Black Card with unknown limit.
  • “Dave” income approx $170,000, credit scores above 765, approved for Visa Black Card with unknown limit.
  • “Pashok” MBA with 6 figure income, credit scores 765, approved for Visa Black Card with unknown limit.

If you Apply for the Visa Black Card and are accepted, please feel free to update us with your stats to include in the profile!


Posted in Visa Black Card44 Comments

www.blackcard.com Exclusive Visa Black Card TV AD

The TV ad is also posted on Barclay’s official Visa Black Card Site.

Posted in General, Visa Black Card

Getting A Black Card for Dummies Book (yes, we are scared too)

What does $199 get you? A semi-decent hotel room, probably a good dinner, plenty of drinks for a night (so long as you’re not drinking a really nice wine), or some crazy book on how to get a Centurion card? Our guess is that the only thing this book “Getting A Black Card For Dummies” gets you, is $199 closer to your $250,000 required annual spend (in a rolling 12 month period) with American Express. Ever hear the expression if it is too good to be true it probably is? Well, if you could get the card by spending $199 everyone would have it, and it wouldn’t be worth anything anymore would it? Worried about Madoff Ponzi schemes of late? If yes, steer clear, if not, hey, buy this book that alleges “no need to increase your spending”! Although hey, we don’t know first hand, since we haven’t read the book, but it does remind us a lot of our previous post on the “black card kit” that you too can buy for $75 or $29.99 (is it even metal??). So now you can look like you have money, even though you really don’t, but paid $29 to look like you do? We think it would be best if to focus on actually making money, and if you do want a Centurion Card, then you should read our guide, which many of our readers and (Centurion card holders) helped write.

If you don’t believe us regarding the “Black Card for Dummies Book“, feel free to prove us wrong (prove that the books truly are meant for dummies), and buy the book (good luck).

We welcome you to submit your stories and comments to us when you get your Centurion Card, or if you’d rather waste a little less (it is the time to save) spend $29.99 and get the black card kit?

Don’t worry, we have nothing to do with either of these schemes!

Centurion Card for Dummies Book

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Visa CEO Loses Wallet

Wonder what other plastic he’s got in there? Think Centurion/Black AmEx Card and a MasterCard World Elite! Keep in mind, if he did have the Centurion Card, he could have had all of his cards replaced through the card replacement program, although, I’m sure he’s got enough personal assistants to take care of that.

“I’m supposed to start off, and say that I’m very happy to be here, and I guess I am. But it’s 4:15 in the morning as far as I’m concerned, and I lost my wallet on the way here,” Saunders said. “It’s rather embarrassing when somebody steals my credit cards.” The comment prompted laughter.
Saunders began his presentation at 7:15 a.m EST.

via Reuters

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Visa Black Card Concierge

In our initial comparison of the Visa Black Card and American Express Centurion Card we noted material types; Outside of card types the things that stand out are, how hard is this card to get (e.g. is it truly exclusive?) , and what real benefits does it offer? The the main things that stands out is the concierge service, but we have yet to see what this can deliver. Visa lists the following, but as with any concierge it’s defendant on the actual service, both American Express tout. American Express Centurion Concierge has been in business since 1999, over 9 years.

You can go to the American Express Concierge Travel Insights Site for more detail on the black card, such as where Centurion Cardholders like to eat when they are in New York.

Or you can go to Visa’s Black Card Site with the details below.

Here’s what Visa cites as examples of Concierge abilities.

Entertainment Planning (Information, Referrals, Reservations, Ticketing)
  • Recommended Restaurants
  • Health clubs
  • Sports entertainment events
  • Golf Tee Time
  • Shopping locations
Business Services (Referrals & Arrangements)
  • Conference service
  • Emergency translation services via phone
  • Computer rental, audio/visual equipment
  • Message service
  • Foreign protocol information
Travel Information and Assistance (Referrals/Recommendations, Reservations)
  • Weather forecasts/ATM locations
  • VISA passport locations
  • Customs, duties and information
  • Mass transportation information and schedules
  • Hotel information
  • Mail/fax destination package
  • Car rentals, limousine & car service information
  • Flight information and ticketing
Country and City Information
  • Highlights/sights/exhibitions/shows
  • Festivals/museum/music entertainment information
  • Time/hours/holidays information
  • Tourist information
  • Shopping information
Gift Arrangements
  • Gift baskets
  • Floral arrangements
  • Specific gifts (as requested)
  • Special occasion gift recommendations
Specialty Services
  • Assistance with location and purchase of specialty items.
  • For example:
    • Rare books or records;
    • Unusual household items;
    • And referrals to specialty services such as dog groomers, tailors and doll makers
  • Hard to find items; special research; specialty shopping


Posted in Visa Black Card Concierge1 Comment

Black Card Visa – Original Press Release – ThinkTank Holdings LLC Announces New Patent Pending Credit Card Venture

ThinkTank Holdings LLC Announces New Patent Pending Credit Card Venture
Oct 2, 2007

JACKSON, Wyo. — ThinkTank Holdings LLC today announced that they will be entering the high-end credit card business with their new patent pending credit card that includes carbon and/or carbon based material. The code name for the company is “Next Card” and should be available to the public soon. The name of the company will not be announced until its release date.

ThinkTank filed its provisional patent application during 2007 based on previously performed research. The original design was invented by ThinkTank’s founder, Scott Blum. This high-tech credit card will be available to individuals and corporations for an estimated annual fee of $495. It is expected to come with a 24-hour concierge service, a points and rewards incentive package as well as many other benefits.

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About ThinkTank Holdings:

Founded in October 1999 by Scott Blum, ThinkTank provides technology infrastructure, financing and management expertise to its companies. At ThinkTank, ideas are created around solutions that change or improve the way business is conducted.

ThinkTank is focused on technology, commerce, and media related industries and currently has the following companies in its portfolio: Buy.com, Yub.com, Sell.com, TechSpace, Thinkbig Media, and YogaToday. Revelocity was sold to NeoForma (NASDAQ: NEOF) in December 2002, ChannelWave was sold to ClickCommerce (NASDAQ: CKCM) in January 2005, and Commerce5 was acquired by Digital River (NASDAQ: DRIV) in December 2005.

ThinkTank is a holding company that has significant investment or control in each of its companies. The partners provide expertise in the form of capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, strategic business partnerships, legal support, business development, marketing expertise and financial management and analytics.

ThinkTank Holdings LLC is located in Jackson, Wyoming.

Visa Black

Posted in Original Press Release4 Comments

The Visa Black Card, Plastic Is No Longer

The luxury credit card market is heating up, and they’ve moved over from plastic to carbon graphite and titanium (maybe so the cards won’t melt from over use); Visa wants their share of the premium space American Express holds, especially with it’s Centurion Card aka the Black Card.

Visa after having launched it’s “signature” series of cards in 1999, launched a higher tier of “signature preferred” cards in May of 2007 targeted at customers who spend $50,000 a year or more on their cards (Visa Signature average spend is approximately $27,600 a year). Merchants actually pay 14% more per transaction vs a regular Visa or Signature card.

The whole purpose of this card is to take share from American Express,” said James McCarthy, Visa senior vice president for consumer-credit products. They may be a ways away, according to a 2007 survey in Europe, Centurion cardholders spend 11.5 times more than the typical American Express card member, and on average have income in excess of 1M a year.

Seemingly it’s not enough to be a plastic card and different or luxurious, it needs to be made from some other material.  American Express figured it out first: Starting in 2004 in parts of Europe, and in the US in early 2006 changed it’s exclusive Centurion Card aka Black Card from standard credit card fare plastic, to titanium.

Well, Scott Blum (Buy.com founder) wants part of it too, ThinkTank Holdings LLC, announced in 2007 they would be launching a high-end credit card business with patent pending credit card that would be made out of carbon fiber code named “Next Card” now launched this month (just a few days ago) as The Visa Black Card. This high-tech credit card is aimed at both individuals and corporates for an annual fee of $495. The card has been launched including 24-hour concierge service, points, rewards, and other benefits. Here’s a side by side view of the Visa Black Card and the American Express Centurion card, carbon graphite or titanium? I’ll take titanium. Apply Online for the Visa Black Card Here.

If you want to see for yourself, you can Apply Online for the Visa Black Card Here.

To see the rest of the luxury plastic, or I should now say cards, please see Alternate Cards.

Posted in Visa Black Card16 Comments